If you’re yawning between sets, decreasing the amount of weight you lift, and feel like you’re constantly battling a cold, you might be working too hard in the gym. Training at too high of intensity or too often can result in overtraining, which can trigger adverse side effects that indicate you’re working too hard.
While this may take some time to happen, ultimately, if you’re putting in too many hours with minimal rest, your body will shut down. So, how do you know if you’re working too hard in the gym? INSIDER asked three fitness trainers to share eight common signs to look for that indicate you may be overtraining.
You’re experiencing a decline in fitness levels
A significant sign you’re working too hard in the gym is seeing a significant decline in athletic performance while exercising.
“Your body will feel different from day to day, but not being able to maintain the pace you once could on the treadmill or not being able to lift as much weight on a consistent basis, are both warning signs,” said iFit trainer, Mecayla Froerer. She told INSIDER that while exercising daily is generally acceptable, you need to monitor the intensity of those workouts and watch for any red flags that point to overtraining.
In fact, she said never increase your workload by more than 10% each week. “Increasing weights, reps, sets, and frequency of workouts too often can quickly lead you down the path of injury and fatigue,” she explained.
Additionally, increasing cardio volume (especially road running) too quickly can lead to issues that take a long time to heal and can take you out for a full race season. “Monitoring your time under tension, as well as your intensity during that time is a great way to ensure you stay healthy without exercising too hard,” said Froerer.
You’re lacking any motivation to exercise
We all know there are mornings when staying in bed sounds a lot better than heading to the gym. But if you’re experiencing a lack of desire to work out, this may be a sign that you need to decrease the intensity and time at the gym. “Pushing too hard every single day will actually do more harm than good,” explained Froerer.